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An old graveyard, writes Ruth Little, is a cultural encyclopedia—an invaluable source of insight and information about the families, traditions, and cultural connections that shape a community. But although graveyards and gravemarkers have long been recognized as vital elements of the material culture of New England, they have not received the same attention in the South. Sticks and Stones is the first book to consider the full spectrum of gravemarkers, both plain and fancy, in a southeastern state.
From gravehouses to cedar boards to seashell mounds to tomb-tables to pierced soapstones to homemade concrete headstones, an incredibly rich collection of gravemarker types populates North Carolina's graveyards. Exploring the cultural, economic, and material differences that gave rise to such variation, Little traces three major parallel developments: a tradition of headstones crafted of native materials by country artisans; a series of marble monuments created by metropolitan stonecutters; and a largely twentieth-century legacy of wood and concrete markers made within the African American community.
With more than 230 illustrations, including 120 stunning photographs by Tim Buchman, Sticks and Stones offers an illuminating look at an important facet of North Carolina's cultural heritage.
Sponsors of the Photography
Chapter 1. Cultural Clues in Old Graveyards
Chapter 2. Lost Sticks and Imported Stones: Coastal Plain Graveyards and Markers
Chapter 3. Fieldstones and Fancy Stones: Piedmont and Mountain Graveyards and Markers
Chapter 4. Backcountry Stonecutters
Chapter 5. Marble Yards and Marble Cutters
Chapter 6. The Living Vernacular: Twentieth-Century Traditional White and African American Markers
Conclusion. Remember as You Pass Me By
Appendix A. Stonecutters and Gravemarker Artisans Represented in North Carolina Cemeteries
Appendix B. Marble Cutters and Stonecutters in North Carolina, 1850-1896